Guerilla War in Viet Nam
A tactical skill game for one player. You command a
military base in Viet Nam during the Tet offensive. Two
units of North Vietnamese regulars are approaching the
base; but where are they? Use five platoons and four
helicopters to search and destroy, defoliate jungle, and
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If you have difficulty locating coordinates on the screen it can
be helpful to place a few defoliation markers at strategic points, noting
their exact location.
Guerilla War in Viet Nam
Copyright 1981, 1985 by Not~Polyoptic$.
All rights reserved.
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nOT-POLYOPTICS II 1 372 1 Lynn SI., Woodbridge, VA 22X91
GAMES FOR // TI 99/4(A)
Guerilla War in Viet Nam
KHE SANH is a game about guerilla warfare in South Vietnam
during the Tet offensive in 1968. The battle of Khe Sanh was a turning
point in the war, and epitomizes modern guerilla warfare. The elusive
North Vietnamese and Viet Cong units, unencumbered by the need to
defend military bases, could remain hidden in the jungle until the time
to attack was right. The American forces, on the other hand, could
only conduct an often futile search for the guerillas to preempt these
destructive attacks. This lion -baiting game ended in 1972 when the
American forces withdrew from the area.
In this game the player is given five platoons of soldiers and four
helicopters to search for and destroy two companies of North
Vietnamese regulars, controlled by the computer. The NVA are invisible
at all times. To win, the player must accumulate more points than the
1. SETTING UP
a) The player is asked how many weeks he wants to play. One
week produces a quick game in which the advantage b clearly
American; however, the greater the number of weeks chosen, the
greater the cumulative damage and the more the Vietnamese gain the
upper hand. Five is the suggested number for a game with equal
chances. Every week two new Vietnamese units begin at the edges of
the screen - they are invisible and show themselves initially only by
the damage they do.
b) The screen shows a mapboard with a military base, four roads
leading to it, an air base, and a nearby Vietnamese village. It is
divided into 768 equally sized squares in a 24 (vertical) by 32
(horizontal) matrix. All objects and movements are defined in terms of
this grid. The American platoons are shown as the letters A through E.
Helicopters don't appear until it is their turn to move (See Section 4
below). Each Vietnamese is randomly placed on one of the 4 edges of
the board. During the course of the game each NVA unit travels
straight across to the other side of the screen, until it encounters an
This illustration shows where the
Vietnamese might be placed. They needn't
start out on different sides. The Vietnamese
move at a random pace based on the platoon
movements of the Americans. Every time the
American platoons move a random number of times (between
eight and thirteen), both NVA advance one square toward the
opposite side. If no key is pressed to either move an American unit or
remain in place, then no Vietnamese units will move.
2. AMERICAN PLATOONS
a) The letter of the American unit whose turn it is to move
appears in the lower left of the screen; that unit is ready to move. The
units move sequentially, one at a time, and the only way to get to the
turn of a particular unit is to go through those of the intervening units.
b) The A,B,C, etc. letters for the platoons stand for the standard
military designations Alpha, Baker, Charlie, etc.
To move a platoon, press E for north, S for west, D for east, X
for south, W for northwest, R for northeast, Z for southwest, or C for
southeast. Press the space bar to stay in place (this counts as a move).
c) When a platoon moves on an NVA unit a machine gun
sounds and that NVA unit is destroyed. The Americans receive 9
d) Platoons aid in repairing destroyed road and air base sections.
3. CONVOYS 3
a) Convoys supply needed provisions for the army base. They
can come down any of the four roads leading to the base. If the road
is clear, the convoy is successful and Americans get 6 points. If a part
of the road is destroyed the convoy will wreck, giving 3 points to the
NVA and making the road impossible to repair. Future convoys coming
down this road can only be saved by posting a platoon over the
destroyed square. Thus it is important, to fix the roads as soon as
possible (see 4e). If all four roads are destroyed, the balance of the
game is definitely tipped in favor of the Vietnamese.
a) Every once in a while the computer will beep and a helicopter
will appear on the air base. This is the helicopters' turn - four
helicopters appear at the air base, unless positions at the base have
been destroyed, in which case the helicopter corresponding to that
position will be skipped. The helicopters are used to destroy NVA
units, to defoliate the jungle so that NVA may be spotted, and to
repair the roads and the air base.
b) To move a helicopter, input the coordinates of the square
where you want it to go. Do NOT press ENTER. The board is 24
spaces vertically and 32 horizontally. The player must input '0' before
one digit coordinates; thus, input '0101' for the upper left corner, '0132'
for the upper right corner.
c) If the coordinates correspond to an empty terrain square, it
defoliates the jungle there (a <+' appears at the spot); if the square
contains an object square, nothing happens and its turn ends.
d) If the helicopter has gone to a place where there are
Vietnamese, there is a one-in-seven chance that it will be shot down.
Otherwise, the enemy will be destroyed. The enemy recieves 7 points
for shooting down the helicopter; if the Vietnamese are destroyed the
Americans recieve 9 points.
e) To repair the road or the air base requires a cooperation of
American troops and helicopters. First, a platoon lands on an explosion
marker, then moves away, leaving a space. Then a helicopter goes to
the space and leaves a defoliation marker. The road or base is then
repaired. (EXCEPTIONS a truck has crashed on an explosion marker
or an empty space before the Americans have had time to repair the
road, it leaves a wreckage marker. The only way to allow convoys to
pass this points is to leave a platoon on the marker for the rest of the
f) The purpose of the defoliation markers is to locate the enemy
units. When a Vietnamese moves on to a defoliation marker, it
disappears. Thus these markers must be placed strategically to give
the Americans early warning of the Vietnamese locations.
5. VIETNAMESE UNITS
a) Everything on the screen except defoliation markers and
American platoons may be blown up by the Vietnamese. When the.
enemy encounters an object, it destroys one square of it, for which the
Vietnamese receive 7 points, and jumps to a random place from zero to
three spaces down, and from zero to three spaces to the left. The unit
continues from its new location in a straight line parallel to its original
course. If its new location 'is also an object, it will attack and jump
again, until it reaches empty terrain. It is possible for a Vietnamese to
jump off the screen - if it does, it is the same as if it completed its
march; it will not be seen again.
' b) When the Vietnamese move on to a space occupied by an
American platoon, the machine gun sounds and the NVA unit is
destroyed. The Americans receive 9 points.
c) Remember, since the Vietnamese are invisible and move at a
random rate, they are sometimes diabolically unpredictable.
d) The week ends when both Vietnamese companies are
destroyed, or both escape off the screen, or a combination of these
situations. The Vietnamese recieve 11 points each for completing their
march across the screen.
a) It is important to spread the American units out as widely as
possible, to cover the screen. Even if you have deduced the location of
an enemy unit, you must have a platoon nearby to dispatch it before it
does further damage. Also it is helpful to have units near all the roads
for quick repair. Usually it is good to position the units on the squares
you choose and then press the space bar to keep them there.
b) Since helicopters come into play at random intervals,
widespread defoliation may not be practical ■ in shorter games.
Defoliating areas between vital necessities such as the air base and the
nearby edges of the screen can give you the necessary forwarning to
prevent disaster. The best pattern to lay down the defoliants is usually
a diagonal one, covering greater numbers of horizontal and vertical
lines. For longer games defoliating the areas at the edge of the screen
gives earlier warning of the location of the enemy.
c) The longer the elapsed time since the previous convoy or
helicopter turn, the more likely the next one. Thus, the best way to
repair a road is to place a unit on the explosion marker until a convoy
has gone (on any of the roads), then move the platoon off in hope of
the next helicopter turn. Nothing is more frustrating than getting a
helicopter turn while a unit is still positioned on the damaged square,
since the road can not be repaired until the next helicopter turn.
d) If you have eliminated one of the Vietnamese units and
discover the remaining one, station a unit on the the square where he
will go off the screen or where he will do damage and spend the time
before he hits that square repositioning your units. You may gain extra
points from convoys and get more helicopter turns this way. If the
helicopter turn comes, use it to expand your defoliation coverage.
e) Use logic to deduce the positions of the enemy. If the game
has gone on for a long time, and you have seen no sign of them, this
also implies certain things about their locations. There are a few enemy
paths that go almost the width or height of the screen.
K he Sa n h
(Example: platoon A is on 0503)
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